Did you have a teacher or a coach when you were young that had a vast positive influence on you? Did they offer you encouragement or help you through a tough time? Perhaps you were older, in college or university, or even more recently. I think most of us have. I did.
I had wanted to send her a letter, just to let her know that her know that her kindness, encouragement and support really has influenced the direction my life has taken. However, it’s proven difficult to find her address to do so. This might not have been the case had her son not been a famous, Stanley Cup winning, NHL hockey player. One would imagine that they may want to keep a low profile. So it’s been difficult to find a way to let her know how much her actions really meant to me. So, out of respect for her privacy, I won’t name her directly.
This lady was the librarian at my public school. She had the reputation for being a stern lady, but my love of books allowed me to see a different side of her. I’ve always drawn, since I was just small, I’d draw on anything. In maybe 5th or 6th grade I started show a greater propensity toward art. This lady suggested that I enter some of my work in the county fair and then she filled out the entry forms AND drove my work there as my parents both worked during the times scheduled for drop off. Her belief in my abilities paid off and I won several awards that year. It was the first time that I was rewarded for something I loved to do. I started to think that maybe I can draw a little! I placed entries in the fair every year following that until the end of high school. It was her first nudge to show my work that encouraged me to keep drawing and keep creating. Today, I am an artist. I’ve studied with amazing artists, including Robert Bateman, an amazing artist and naturalist.
Would I still have pursued a career in art? Probably, it’s a passion that’s followed me throughout my life, however, at that uncertain age, she showed me that she believed I had a gift and that it should be shared, which gave me confidence to continue. For that, I’m grateful. Thank you.
Now if anyone who knows me might have a way I can get this letter to her send me a message, otherwise I hope to one day let her know that she had a lasting influence on me.